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Thematic Philately

Thematic Collecting - Subject Philately - Motif Collecting - Topical Philately


Thematic Philately is the art of collecting postage stamps, postal stationery, postmarks and other related philatelic material to illustrate a theme. A thematic collection will generally consist of a wide range of philatelic material from a wide range of countries. The collection should be organised in such a way that it tells an interesting story.

There are countless options available from the wealth of philatelic material that has been produced and still continues to be produced. For some popular themes, such as "ships" or "birds", so many stamps have been issued that it has now become nearly impossible to complete. Stamps for thematic collections are generally commonly available and inexpensive, it is just time consuming finding the stamps.

If you have reached a point in your collecting where you would like to exhibit it, then have a look at the FIP Thematic Philately Commission website for suggestions on presenting your collection.


Specialist Societies for Collectors of Thematic Philately

GENERAL SOCIETIES
The British Thematic Association was founded with the objective “To promote, encourage and assist the development of thematic philately”
Open to thematic collectors of all ages and at all levels. The BTA offers help and advice on all aspects of thematic philately. Whether you are new to thematic collecting or experienced. Whether you want to collect for your personal interest or improve your competitive skills. The BTA can help.

West of England Thematic Society
Do you live in the South West, enjoy a challenge, and like to meet interesting people. Why not consider taking one or more of your current interests, and start to illustrate them with stamps or related philatelic material.

Thematics Queensland
Thematics Queensland is a study group which aims to encourage and help everyone who is interested in thematic collecting and exhibiting.

American Topical Association
The American Topical Association (ATA) was founded in 1949 and is now the largest philatelic society devoted specifically to topical stamp collecting. Serving almost 3,000 members worldwide.

Indian Thematic Society
The Indian Thematic Society was founded in 1981. Main aim of the Society is to promote thematic and topical philately in general but specially in India. The Society publishes a quarterly magazine "ITS Stamp News", which is widely circulated not only in India but also in more than twenty other countries of the world.

Thematics Southern Africa
Thematics SA is an organisation for stamp collectors who use themes as the basis for their collections

SUBJECT SPECIFIC SOCIETIES
Bicycle Stamps Club
The Bicycle Stamps Club is a non-profit, all-volunteer association dedicated to sharing information about the thematic collection of postage stamps depicting or related to bicycles, tricycles and unicycles and their derivatives.

Bird Stamp Society
The Bird Stamp Society was formed in 1986 to cater for the large number of collectors who specialise in bird stamps and relevant material.

Captain Cook Society
Over 400 stamps have been issued world-wide relating to Captain Cook and the many places he visited.

The CartoPhilatelic Society
Formed in 1955 by a group of philatelists with a keen interest in map stamps

Casey Jones Railroad Unit
Covers everything rail-related on stamps - steam engines, diesel engines, rolling stock, rail bridges, streetcars, subways, trolleys, funiculars, cog railways, etc.

Cricket Philatelic Society
Member receives 4 quarterly Newsletters called "Wickets". The newsletter gives details of New Issues and discusses other interesting topics on Cricket stamps - as well as holding an occasional Auction in which you can buy - or sell - a varying selection of Stamps and First Day Covers.

Exhibition Study Group
The Exhibition Study Group consists of 100+ people who have a wide range of interest from the 1851 Great Exhibition onwards, from the stamps and special postmarks used throughout this period, to advertising stickers, commemorative plates and other crested china ware, medals, post cards, printed ephemera, books, etc. British Exhibitions, including and Philatelic Congress and Exhibitions, attract most attention, but a few members are interested in Foreign Exhibitions...

Society of Olympic Collectors
The Society of Olympic Collectors, founded in 1984, promotes and encourages the collection and study of Olympic memorabilia and collectibles.

Railway Philatelic Group
Are you a stamp collector? Are you interested in Railways? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the Railway Philatelic Group is the organisation for you. With around 450 members worldwide, an Annual Convention, a quarterly Journal, an Exchange Packet and a twice-yearly Auction, membership of the Group will enable you to make contact with other collectors who share your interests and passion for railways past and present.

The Scout & Guide Stamps Club
The Scout & Guide Stamps Club was founded as the Scout Stamp Collectors Club (SSCC) in 1957 as a result of the increased interest created by the numerous stamp issues commemorating the Baden-Powell Centenary and the Golden Jubilee of Scouting.

Scouts on Stamps Society International
Scouts on Stamps Society International (SOSSI) is a nonprofit philatelic organization specializing in the collecting, study, and enjoyment of stamps and other postal items celebrating the Boy Scout and Girl Scout (Guide) movements.

The Ship Stamp Society
The Ship Stamp Society, founded in 1970, is anchored in Great-Britain, but gathers collectors on maritime thematic in the whole world. Advanced collectors or beginners may enjoy to discover ships on stamps life.

Stamps on Stamps Collectors Club
The topic of stamps on stamps is an interesting one in that it covers many different areas and avenues while still being true to the stamp topic.

The King George VI Collectors Society
The Society was formed in 1960 by the late Frank R. Saunders. There are currently about 400 members living in 27 countries. The main aim of the Society is to bring together all those interested in the stamps of the reign of King George VI.


Selected Pages on Thematic Philately

Aircraft stamps and pictures
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Allegorical figures on stamps
Allegorical figures are personifications, often female, of abstract concepts or emotional states
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum


Countries showcase their archaeological discoveries on new stamps
from Linn's Stamp

Art on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Art on Stamps
by Victor Manta
Website is dedicated to the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpting, pottery, tapestry, enamel) as they appear on stamps. It provides information about new issues, offers a huge free database (as a free download and also on-line), an extensive art gallery...

Beards on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Beetles on Stamps
by Patrice Bonaforte
Why a web site about beetles on stamps? To conjugate two of my passions: entomology and philately. I am interested in Insects for a long time, more particularly in beetles (mainly long-horned beetles and ground beetles), and I collect stamps since more longer.

Bicycle Stamps - Cycling Events
Bicycle Stamp Gallerie by Gunther Pöpperl

Birds of the World on Postage Stamps
Compiled by Chris Gibbins

Birds of a feather - come flock together
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Lists of birds on stamps
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theme Birds on Stamps
Kjell Scharning's online catalogue of bird stamps

Bridges of the World on postage stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Brooms on Stamps - Making a clean sweep: collecting brooms on stamps
by By Denise McCarty, Linn's Stamps
"You expect to see witches flying by on their broomsticks on Halloween stamps, but brooms — with or without witches — also are pictured on a variety of other stamps."

New Zealand Butterflies on postage stamps

Favourite Butterfly Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

cats on postage stamps

Catstamps.org - The Feline Philately
The catstamps.org web-pages is an initiative to create a library of check-lists, scans and other information of relevance to collectors of wild and domestic cats on stamps and other philatelic items. The initiative was started in 2006 by members of the Catstamps e-mail list.

Cat Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Coat of Arms design on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Guide to Collecting Cricket Stamps and Covers
details of a 32 page guide titled "Going to the Cricket"

Checkmate! CHESS on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Chess on Stamps
Site created by Colin Rose

Dentistry and Stamps

Dogs on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Fairy Tales on stamps and Children's Stories on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

List of fish on stamps
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A dip in the blue ocean - sea life images
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Australian Flora on Postage Stamps

Foxes on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Freemason - Masonic Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Giraffe Stamps
This site aims to catalogue and describe all postage stamps ever issued featuring giraffes

Hockey on Stamps
Over 250 stamps featuring the sport of field hockey have been issued by 115 countries since the first hockey stamp was issued by Japan in 1951 on the occasion of the 6th National Athletic meeting at Hiroshima. This site includes stamps, miniature sheets, First Day Covers, Maxi and postcards, hockey cancellations and Philatelic items relating to field hockey.

New Zealand 1968 Horses

Show us your HORSES on stamps and stationery
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum
Postage stamps and philatelic materials - FDCs, postcards, envelopes, pictorial postmarks, Maxi Cards - depicting horses and horse symbols.


Stamps with Lighthouses
by Carlos María Silvano

Stamping Through Mathematics - a Book Review
An Illustrated History of Mathematics through Stamps
by Robin J. Wilson

Mathematical Equations and Mathematicians on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Mozart Music DDR Malaria on Stamps
by Larry Fillion

Maps on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Medical Philately
by Robin Peltere

Monkeys in Art, Space, Mythology, Literature and...on Trees!
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Mother and Child
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Mountains, Mountain Ranges etc., on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Music stamps redux
Music philately began with the issuance of some of the very first postage stamps in the mid-nineteenth century: The inaugural issues of several European countries included images of post horns...

Mythologies of the World on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Opera on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Owls On Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Lovely orchids on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Paleontology
by "Paleophilatelist"
Catalogue of Paleontology related philatelic items, such as paleontologists, fossils, prehistoric animals, dinosaurs, early man, museums etc

Paleontology on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum - postings on the the subject of paleontology related stamps: paleontologists, fossils, prehistoric animals, dinosaurs, early man, museums

Paleoanthropology and Early Man Life on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Are there any Pigs on postage stamps?
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

U.S. presidents on U.S. postage stamps
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reptiles on stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

When the SAINTS go marching in...
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Scouts on Stamps
by Hallvard Slettebø

Scouts on Stamps or Covers
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Year of the Sheep, Show your Sheep on Stamps
from Stampboards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

The Philatelic Sherlock Holmes
Over a dozen countries have produced Sherlock Holmes-related postal offerings, beginning in 1972 with Nicaragua's 50th Anniversary of Interpol issue

Ships on Stamps
Dedicated to the study of philatelic material pertaining to watercraft on stamps, to sharing knowledge, to encouraging the growth of the hobby and to supporting the preservation of our maritime heritage. Collecting ships on stamps is an enjoyable way to vicariously travel the Seven Seas or the smallest lake without investing in the cost of a boat.

Ships, Liners and Boats on stamps - anything that floats
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Show your stamps depicting Sailing Ships of Yesteryear
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

UPU Specimen Stamps of the Commonwealth
by Robert Buxton

Squirrels on stamps!
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Star Trek the New Frontier
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Share with us your stamps depicting Trains!
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Sea Turtle Postage Stamps
Compiled by Nancy B Linsley and George H Balazs
for the enjoyment of other collectors and sea turtle enthusiasts...

Turtle and Tortoise Stamp Collecting
by Joe Leven

Volcanoes on stamps
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Old Beeg's Waterfall Stamps of the World

Waterfall Stamps


Books on Thematic Philately

Checklist of Postage Stamps about Music published by the Philatelic Music Circle, 1974

Collect Railways On Stamps 3rd Edition
Published in 1999. Straightforward and easy to use, Stanley Gibbons range of thematic stamp catalogues. This third edition includes listings for more than 8000 stamps.

Collect Fish On Stamps 1st Edition
Published in 1999. Straightforward and easy to use, Stanley Gibbons range of thematic stamp catalogues. Lists more than 7600 stamps that depict over 1600 different species.

Collect Chess On Stamps 2nd Edition
Published in 1999. Straightforward and easy to use, Stanley Gibbons range of thematic stamp catalogues. This second edition covers nearly 600 stamps showing chess or related subjects.

Collect Fungi On Stamps 2nd Edition
Published in 1997.
Straightforward and easy to use, Stanley Gibbons range of thematic stamp catalogues. This catalogue covers approximately 1400 stamps which depict around 575 different species